Women’s Basketball Wins OT Thriller Over Adrian
Saturday, January 17, 2009
By Chaz Amidon
GRAND RAPIDS – Calvin coach John Ross was hoping his team wouldn’t have to rely on Sarah Partridge’s last-second heroics to beat Adrian at home – again. Photo Gallery
But after the Knights’ 14-point lead suddenly evaporated late in the second half, it was Partridge who provided a game-tying 3-pointer with 31 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, where Calvin outscored the Bulldogs 12-6 en route to a 72-66 victory at Van Noord Arena.
“I was going to pass it to Brook (Van Eck) but I couldn’t get it into her, so I just shot it,” said Partridge of her long ball that knotted the game at 60-60. “I knew we were down by three, but I didn’t necessarily want to shoot the 3.”
Partridge, who registered a team-high 14 points, lifted the Knights to a 65-64 win over the Bulldogs on Feb. 13, 2008, with a buzzer-beating lay-in to punctuate the regular season finale at the old Calvin Fieldhouse.
This time around, Partridge shook off a forgettable first half – she was 0-of-3 from the field and 2-of-4 from the line – and tallied 12 points after the break. She also gave Calvin a four-point lead in overtime with a coast-to-coast lay up that induced an Adrian time out.
“Today was a relief for us,” said Partridge. “We needed to get the confidence back.”
Coming off a 73-59 loss at Hope on Wednesday, the Knights received a pair of 12-point performances from Van Eck and Amber Benthem and shot 69 percent from 3-point range.
Instead of falling behind early, a recurrent trend for Calvin during the MIAA season, the Knights bolted out to a 19-8 lead with 10:50 remaining in the first half. The Bulldogs would climb back from double-digit deficits in both halves, but Calvin engineered runs of 6-2 and 6-0 in the second half and overtime, respectively.
“We just brought a lot of energy today,” said Benthem. “We let down at the end (of the first half) but we got it right back and gave the fans something to watch.”
Leading 49-35 with 12:35 left in regulation, Calvin saw its largest lead of the game vanish when Adrian’s Anita Stamps headed a Bulldog comeback by swiping three steals and converting a trio of fastbreak lay-ups. Stamps capped a 10-0 Adrian run with 2:19 remaining when she intercepted a Kristi Brummel pass at the top of the key and finished with a lay-in on the other end.
“Some of those turnovers were just totally uncharacteristic,” said Ross. “We’re just really fortunate to get out of here today with a win.”
With only 42 seconds left, Adrian’s Jenn Headley put the Bulldogs up 60-57 with a turnaround jumper following two missed free throws from Van Eck.
Partridge buried the game-tying 3-pointer from the right corner just seconds later, then forced Stamps to turn the ball over as time expired.
In overtime, Calvin took a quick 66-60 lead off baskets from Partridge, Emily Ottenhoff and two free throws from Courtney Kurncz. And despite shooting only 55 percent (17-of-31) at the free throw line throughout, the Knights’ drained 5 of their last 6 attempts from the charity stripe to seal the win.
“We felt a little more comfortable on offense and at the end we got some big stops and a couple turnovers,” said Partridge. “I think we felt better but we still have a lot of work to do. It was a good win.”
The Knights (8-6, 3-4) are now 2-0 at Van Noord Arena, where they have played in a pair of overtime thrillers so far this January. Calvin squeezed out a double-overtime win over Trine in the home opener on Jan. 7.
In both home games, the Knights have committed an average of 13.5 turnovers per game while knocking down nine 3-pointers in each contest. On Wednesday, Calvin surrendered a season-worst 32 turnovers and shot only 4-of-12 from the perimeter against Hope.
Somehow, someway, we’ve got to get back where we were our first five games,” said Ross, whose team started the 2008-09 season with a 5-0 record. “Nobody saw us our first five games. We played phenomenal basketball and, in my opinion, we were one of the top 25 teams in the country.”
Calvin will now travel to Olivet on Jan. 21 before returning back to Grand Rapids for a four-game home stretch that begins Jan. 24.